BEDFORD (CBS) — Bedford Police are reminding the public of seat belt safety guidelines as a young boy recovers after he was choked by a seat belt.

A mother called 911 Saturday afternoon after she realized her eight-year-old son had pulled the seat belt loose and wrapped it around his neck, activating the locking mechanism. “The mother was unable to loosen the seat belt to free the child, who began to turn blue and lost consciousness,” police said.

“Before I could process anything he was basically hanging from the ceiling,” mom Siobhan Sherbovich told reporters.

She pulled over her Acura on South Road ran into a hair salon where she called for help and got scissors, which she used to cut the boy free. “At the time I didn’t know if it was open or not,” Sherbovich said, “I was ready to break down windows.”

“I cut him loose from the top of the ceiling and he falls out of the car just completely unconscious onto the ground.”

An eight-year-old boy is recovering after he became entangled in his seat belt Saturday (Courtesy Photo)

Sherbovich then performed CPR until first responders arrived.

The boy regained consciousness and was evaluated at a local hospital. Police do not believe he will have any lasting health complications as a result of the incident.

Police Chief Bob Bongiorno said, “Let’s face it, police and fire are trained on how to handle this type of situation. There’s no playbook for a parent on how to do it. For her to keep cool, to go into a facility, a salon, get a pair of scissors, come out, cut the seat belt off her son, begin CPR and essentially save his life is just absolutely amazing.”

He has never encountered anything like this in his 25 years of public safety.

Police said children should use a booster seat with the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belts until they can pass the seat belt fit test:

  • The children’s knees should bend at the edge of the vehicle seat when their backs and bottoms are against the seat’s back
  • The vehicle lap belt should fit across the upper thighs
  • The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest.

Kids are usually between eight and 12 years old when the seat belt fits them properly. They should also be taught the importance of wearing a seat belt each time, police said.

WBZ-TV also reached out to Acura and they said they have not received any complaints about the seat belt.

Comments (2)
  1. Patrick Davis says:

    This happened to my daughter 10 years ago…if I hadn’t been home with access to scissors she’d be dead. It’s a function of all seat belts…there needs to be a release button on the ratchet mechanism of the belt.

  2. Kimberley McLean says:

    many lower end cars are now not coming with a seat belt height adjuster. Making the seatbelt fit a short person is almost impossible. I have a small pillow, and 2 attachments and it still rides across my neck without the adjuster in my husband’s car. In my car, at the lowest adjustment, I don’t need any extra accoutrements for it to fit properly. In a back seat, there is no way to make it the least bit comfortable and I sit with my hand inside it.

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